"Greater than the tread of mighty armies is the force of an idea whose hour is come." Those are the words of Victor Hugo.
The idea of Bible marking is as old as the message. However, it has tended to bog down because of the awkwardness of finding the scriptures. Also it has often been encumbered with complicated chain-reference plans.
Then came the idea of using Bibles with identical paging so that texts could be easily and quickly located by page number. The idea caught on. And then came the daring question, If the plan works so well in classes, could it be used in the large metropolitan reaping meeting?
Elder Vandeman and conference administrators stepped out by faith and ordered a ton of Bibles for the Vancouver-Victoria meeting. The plan not only worked, but, amazingly enough, it practically doubled the evangelistic audience.
The idea is not exclusive with It Is Written. But whatever its source, it spread. Our men around the world began to realize the vast potential of this simple plan. Here was an idea that could be adapted to any situation in which the Bible is studied—meetings large and small, classes, Bible studies, the pastor's Bible class, radio and television evangelism.
It is possible that the term "Bible marking" may lead to a wrong emphasis. For the actual marking of the Bible, helpful as it is, is still incidental to the fact that the interested individual participates himself in the learning process. He handles the Word. This is a do-it-yourself age. It is for this reason that It Is Written has named the plan "Bible in the Hand."
It is because of this emphasis on participation, this spotlighting of the Word itself, that the plan is so admirably suited to accomplish the transfer of allegiance from the television personality to the message itself, making it possible for the local pastor to lead to full decision.
And now Bible in the Hand has taken the next natural step. It has gone hi-fl. We live in an age when almost every home has high-fidelity equipment of some sort, and every teen-ager his record player. Should this vast potential audience be ignored? Why not combine the impact of the giant reaping meeting with the intimacy of the personal Bible study and bring the message into the living room on long-playing records? Why not accompany the records with identically paged Bibles and send the layman, the living contact, along to guide the growing conviction?
Evidently the idea appeals to our laymen. Seven hundred sets of records, seven thousand records in all, were sold at the Michigan camp meeting when the plan was introduced. And now, climaxing the early experimentation, two albums of long-playing records, each containing ten of Elder Vandeman's decision messages, one on each record, are available to our laymen. These Bible in the Hand recordings are distributed through the courtesy of Chapel Records and may be obtained through your Book and Bible House at the amazingly low cost of $12.50 for a set of ten, attractively boxed, available in sets only.This is only $25.00 for the full series of twenty. And the records are of a quality that usually sell for $3.95 each. The Bibles may also be obtained at low cost through your Book and Bible House.
The use of these records, as envisioned in connection with the It Is Written program, is twofold. The first plan encourages their use by laymen in following up television interests. Here is a method of giving Bible studies that involves no fear, no awkwardness, and requires no special experience.
The second plan is aimed directly at the television viewer. And it works like this. The same procedure used for the offer of the book Planet in Rebellion to television viewers is followed, and once each month a free record is offered to those who telephone within a specified time. This first record is an inspiring message with sufficient truth to deepen conviction and encourage further study. With the record is an offer difficult to refuse. The individual is invited to write in for a lovely Bible and four more records—almost a $25 value—at the low production cost of $5.00. After he listens to these four records he will be invited to send in for another group of five for $5.00, and so on, until he has received all twenty. Delivery of the records by a layman will bring the vital living contact.
We believe it will again be demonstrated not only that participation deepens conviction, but that the person who asks for truth, who himself initiates the request for it and even pays something for it, will appreciate it most.
Yes, Bible in the Hand has gone hi-fl. It is one of the most potent developments in the total-package program of It Is Written—an idea whose hour has come!